"Neon represents the colour of our generation. Its vibrancy is something that no other colour spectra could ever rival: it carries with it a unique sense of import, like an outburst of living energy after a long period of repression."

P resenting a fantastic tableau of resplendent neon hues, Huang Yuxing’s fantastical landscape guides the viewer into a deeply meditative and radiant natural scene. One of the most renowned artists in China working today, Huang Yuxing’s innovative use of the Chinese realist technique of Gongbi are in full display in Mountain Bathed under Golden Sun (2018-19), in which the artist expertly deploys thin lines to meticulously outline the shapes and subtle movement of the landscape. Reminiscent of the contour lines found on topographic maps, the present work is a delicate and mesmerising exploration of nature. The brilliant colours which have come to define Huang’s artistic practise, where shades of glowing greens, bright pinks and iridescent purples play against subtle moments of blue, produce an effect that is at once dazzling and profoundly soothing. By juxtaposing and intermingling different shapes and colours, Huang creates a portal into a surreal new world. Recalling the landscapes of Chinese mountains, powerful rivers and cloud-mottled skies, such broad associations provide a sense of familiarity in an otherwise alien terrain.


Qing Dynasty Xiao Yuncong's Huangshan Cloud and Sea Map volume (detail), Xubaizhai Collection, Hong Kong Museum of Art
清 萧云从《黄山云海图》卷(局部) 香港艺术馆虚白斋藏
Huang Yuxing, White Building in the Forest, 2019
Sold by Sotheby's Hong Kong in April 2022
清 蕭雲從,《黃山雲海圖》(局部),香港藝術館虛白齋藏

Huang’s sensitive use of colour fills the composition of the present work with a sense of dynamism, its richly detailed layers and play of light, shadow and texture achieving a sense of three dimensionality through the artist’s abstracted expression. Undulations of water are rendered through lines of colour to suggest a subtle sense of movement, the surface of the water in stark contrast to the imposing rock face above. These ambiguously dimensioned layers of rocks and mountains lead the viewers gaze upwards to an expansive plane of mountain peaks and the intensely pigmented pink sky beyond. Creating a sense of perceptual depth which opens up to a second body of water, Huang’s compositional framework is evocative of the natural scenes found in traditional Chinese landscapes. Though not attempting to present these objects naturalistically, Huang’s precise layering of colour and line build an impression of these shapes as they appear in the natural world.


Born in 1975 in Beijing and graduating from the Department of Mural Painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2000, Huang’s fascination with Chinese Zen and Eastern philosophy can be felt in Mountain Bathed under Golden Sun, in which the artist’s landscape blends a calm emptiness with electric colourways that feel utterly contemporary in our highly digital world. Blurring the boundary between abstract hallucination and reality, Huang’s psychedelic world is marked by exceptional depth. Whilst initially recalling an Expressionistic style, they are deeply rooted in a detailed construction of landscape and form. Reflecting the experience of nature and creation itself, Huang’s expansive landscapes enable the viewer to transverse beyond visual stimulation alone, into a space of spiritual contemplation.

detail of the present work


— 黃宇興